In Los Angeles, a new fan-funded billboard is pleading with Marvel to revive Iron Man himself, Tony Stark. The billboard is another example of entitled fandom gone wild, this time from a group bolstered by the Snyder Cut’s release. And, to be honest, I was ecstatic that Zack Snyder was able to complete his version of Justice League. However, Snyder’s return has opened a door into toxic fandom, where wishful thinking and ridiculous fan demands contribute to precisely this sort of nonsense.
A new billboard has been put up by fans in Los Angeles, and asks Marvel Studios to bring the Iron Man, Tony Stark, back to life. pic.twitter.com/JtG2GvdzmL
— Lights, Camera, Pod (@LightsCameraPod) April 22, 2021
What, exactly, do these fans expect from Marvel and Robert Downey Jr.? Over 13 years, the man has already starred in nine Marvel films, and he is likely to want to play a new role. It would be one thing if this were a character that had been underserved by their franchise or had been written off/chased due to vehement fan backlash (hello Rose Marie Tran). On the other hand, Tony Stark has occupied a central position in the MCU since launching the mega-franchise with Iron Man in 2008.
Few other characters have been given the same hero’s journey that Tony Stark has. When the character dies in the Avengers: Endgame finale, he sacrifices himself to resurrect the planet and kill Thanos. Tony Stark is the hero who saves the world. It doesn’t get any more massive or heroic than that.
To keep readers engaged, stories require stakes. If they can keep resurrecting characters indefinitely, their deaths would have no emotional effects. It’s the exact explanation why characters in our favorite movies and shows fight, break up, lie, and make poor decisions. Citizens, it’s called DRAMA. Check out the fanfiction if you want to read something with a lot of fluff and happy endings.
“Make it so that nothing ever has stakes” is a cool take on a creative endeavor. https://t.co/hOw1cCJLwP
— Ken Tremendous (@KenTremendous) April 22, 2021
It’s also a stretch to believe that a major studio would fork over hundreds of millions of dollars because some nerds squandered their cash on a billboard. Do they think Kevin Feige would be driving down Sunset when he sees this billboard, pull over, and scream, “The MCU is broken!” Let’s reschedule Step 4!” It’s ridiculous and demonstrates a total lack of knowledge about how the film industry works. It’s also an insult to the hundreds of talented people who contributed to the creation of the character you adore.
This billboard and the idea behind it fail on every stage, right down to the hashtag #BringBackTonyStarkToLife, which is frustratingly worded. Whoever paid for this billboard needs to come down to earth and get a grip. With this audacious nonsense, you’re humiliating yourself and the fandom.